Review: Halo by Alexandra Adornetto


Warning: extreme rant. Approach with caution. It also has a spoiler.

Oh, Halo.

Because I don’t think I’ll be capable of positive thinking after this, I should add that I did enjoy the writing in this book and that I really admire Adornetto for becoming a published author at the age of 14 (she published The Shadow Thief).

And now onto the negatives.

I am writing a book review on Good Friday and I would like to mention that no matter whether you regard angels as mythical beings or not, angels are regarded as powerful, good, pure messengers of God. Actually, they’re that way unless you’re a YA author. The rules bend for you because you MUST accommodate that HAWT boy in your book!

The reason why I picked this book up was that of the overwhelmingly bad reviews on Goodreads. If you go and check it out, the whole first page is chock full of hilariously bad reviews, complete with stress-reduction kits and all (bang your head against a flat surface until you are concussed! Your stress will then be reduced!). And I was super excited to find this book in the library because I thought it would be bad in a FUNNY way.

Nicole, learn your lesson. An overwhelming amount of bad reviews is never wrong. Never pick up this sort of book again.

Let’s start off with the location of this book and geography. Right now, I’m learning about the poverty line, population pyramids, that sort of thing. I’m learning about the overwhelming amount of people who don’t have shelter, who don’t have food, who don’t have access to basic healthcare, who don’t earn enough money to feed their families. Angels should go and improve lives of these people, right?

Wrong again, guys!

In this book, Gabriel, Ivy, and–yes, she is an angel, get this–Bethany go to a sleepy coastal town where the siblings stay in a mansion, eat truffles, send Bethany to high school, and generally have a great time! This is sidestepped by the fact that there is a glaringly obviously villain who arrives at Bethany’s school and then bad things happen.

After that, there’s a happy ending. ALL IS WELL.

So basically, this is what the main characters in this story do to help life on earth:

  • Ivy knits! And volunteers at an aged care facility! I do that with the Duke of Ed program at my school too! Yay! I’m just as good as an angel!
  • Gabriel teaches at a school and he’s moody. And, OMG, because he’s so cute heaps of girls are chasing after him.
  • Bethany goes to school and, let’s see…hmm, what does she do help people? Oh, yes, she falls in love with this guy and it’s totally okay even though she’s an angel because he’s, like, totally hawt and it’s so okay to love hot boys even if it’s against the laws of heaven because he’s, like, cute! She also occasionally snaps out of it and goes and volunteers at the aged care facility because, like, she needs to DO something, right?

There are just…so many problems with this book I can’t even begin to list them all. For one, the author fills up about the first half of the book (and I’m not even exaggerating here) with descriptions of le beautiful town and how great life is on earth. And then she spends the next quarter of the book building up to an achingly obvious conclusion. The fact that I could predict the ending the moment the villain entered the story didn’t help either.

There’s also the part where Bethany reveals that she’s an angel to her human boyfriend, the moment when Gabriel hands her a credit card so she can go shopping for prom (I might add here that Adornetto is Australian, and in Australia, we have no such thing as prom. It’s a SCHOOL DANCE or a SOCIAL), the part when she actually considers having sex with her human boyfriend. And while I’m at it, did I mention that she gets drunk and gets a hangover?

I could go on and on about this, but I think I’m going to stop here. Please don’t read this book, and if you do need to, borrow it from the library. It’s one of the books I can safely say I seriously disliked. One star.

This really wasn’t for me.


Online Education


Online Education or distance learning is differ from traditional education. In this education, students do not go for visiting an actual classroom and listen to an instructor face-to-face. It plays an important role in not only improving academic capability of your child, but it also improves their living habits too. Many children lose their interest in learning due to some problems. On the other hand, some students are very shy and can not ask their doubts from their teachers in the presence of other students. In this situation, online education becomes very useful. There are many benefits of online education .

Today the importance of Online Education is as equal as college education.

We can attend classes from any place all over the world. We can also read and re-read the lectures, discussions, discussions and comments. The only required thing is to have a computer or a laptop with an Internet connection. In the case of accessibility, online education is more flexible than traditional education. An individual can attend classes as per his schedule. Flexible schedule in education allows a student to maintain his priorities. He can also enhance his skills through computer based learning.

In online education, we can access various features on Internet for instance, chat, discussion forums, blogs etc.

These features help us to interact with our peers from varied geographical locations. We can interact with other people across the world over the Internet. Online programs also increase participation among all students. The another main advantage of these programs is the cost. These courses are less expensive as compared to traditional programs. By these courses, we can save money on housing, transportation, books, lost wages and much more. Thus online education brings various benefits for the students such as flexible schedule, save on money, accessibility of course content etc.

Strategies for Selecting the best Online School

Lately launched data recommending that for-profit education institutions graduates aren’t finding positions within their area and for that reason and also have lower loan payment rates may discourage some students from considering online degree programs.

While a lot of the reviews is deeply unsettling, you need to observe that poor career-positioning and loan payment rates aren’t qualities of each and every online school, just for-profits aren’t the sole ones to be affected by such issues. Many ground schools also provide similar issues.

When creating greater education choices, it’s important to investigate and also to weigh your choices. The decisive element in selecting the internet school that’s best for you is research. Let us have a look in a couple of facts to consider when thinking about your school choice.

First, despite the fact that this might appear apparent to a lot of students already, look into the institution’s accreditation status.

Be sure that the school is accredited by looking at the accreditation database maintained through the U.S. Department of Education here. Watch out for schools that employ aggressive prospecting tactics or encourage you to definitely falsify info on documents. Quality online schools should not be reluctant about revealing information.

Many schools, not only online, perform a large amount of handholding with the application.

Inch Make sure to look around. Compare schools, tuition costs, and degree programs offered prior to making a concrete choice. Your education is a vital decision take time to make the correct one.

Area of the U.S. Education Department’s website is devoted to supplying students with details about graduation and loan payment rates. Take a look at their website, here, and find out how good a particular school’s graduates do.

Lastly, it might help you to speak to professionals within the area that you wish to pursue a diploma. They’ve already advice to provide about online degree programs or specific online programs which were useful on their behalf.


The Pitfalls Of Positive Thinking


Do you think Bob Marley was right when he sang Dont Worry Be Happy? After all, why really worry when we have so much to be grateful for? I, however, argue that American culture has imposed mandatory optimism on us which has led to a reflexive response to dismiss disturbing news. We don’t like feeling sad, so we ignore real facts, allowing problems to persist. This leads to our ignorance of what’s really going on in the world around us. If one complains or questions real issues, one is told to stop overanalyzing and put on a smiley face, because no one likes being around a pessimist.

This unspoken rule of positive thinking condemns us to spreading good cheer and making those around us feel comfortable and happy. Complaining is seen as pessimism because we shouldn’t have anything to complain about living in this altruistic and happy world. I believe that to see the beauty in everything attitude is completely delusional and harmful for several reasons.

Ignoring Problems Doesn’t Solve Them: Willful Ignorance

Facts don’t cease to exist because we ignore them. During the financial disaster in 07, people who tried to raise concerns or questions were shut up or fired.

  • You couldn’t say I’m worried about our subprime mortgage exposure or you’d be out.
  • People within Lehman Brothers who tried to point out that the housing prices could not last forever were fired.

In our personal lives:

In an effort not to raise drama,we refuse to talk negatively about things that are real issues. We tell people not to worry so much because life is short, be happy. We take no notice that we’ve completely undermined the significance of their worries and that whatever it is that is bothering them is a real issue in their lives. We need to understand that emotions arise subconsciously in our brains and our reactions to them are involuntary and happen at a subconscious level. Solutions to our worries will only arise when we confront them directly, make necessary adjustments, and move forward on a new path. Dont worry, be happy is all too often an unrealistic and unuseful answer.

To Solve Problems We Need To Realize We DO Have Power

My problem with the positive thinking ideology is the powerlessness of it all when in fact we DO have power, collective power. Our society believes that positive thinking implies that you ignore or avoid dealing with negative events, looking only for the good and denying the bad. This, however, is not the foundation of correct positive thinking (despite what many believe).

Effective positive thinking means dealing with a negative event, allowing the appropriate amount of time for negative emotions to surface, and then moving on from the negativity by focusing on the positive and what can be done to improve upon it. It does not mean ignoring the negative event.

We are burying our heads in the sand because we are refusing to acknowledge upsetting information. As a result, it makes us intellectually inept and does nothing to solve problems. If we were more vigilant, open minded and open to new knowledge that challenges our existing beliefs, we could solve a lot of problems.

We are hardwired to be vigilant…and on guard, that is how our ancestors survived, not by saying everything’s probably okay.- Barbara Ehrenreich.

Were Not Actually Happy

Surprisingly, when psychologists took a meta-analysis to measure the happiness of nations, Americans ranked twenty-third surpassed by the Danish, the Malaysians, the Bahamians, the Austrians and even the Finnish. Research continuously finds that Americans are not very happy at all, despite adopting an optimistic way of life.

In addition, Americans account for two-thirds of the global market for antidepressants which also happen to be the most commonly prescribed drug in the United States. This leads us to ask, if a positive attitude is all we need to be happy, then why are we not actually happy?

Concluding Thoughts

In no way do I mean to advocate pessimism or gloom, those are also delusions. I don’t like people who complain yet do nothing to solve their problems. My suggestion is that we adopt an attitude of realism where we try to figure out what’s actually happening in the world and seeing what we can do about it.

In addition, it is better to turn to God for help than to take medication. Spiritual development helps to cope with any problems.


Target job interview questions and answers


1)What does your boss think of you?

You may refer to the strengths section. If appropriate do share that more than one boss has commented on the same strengths to demonstrate consistency and stability.

2)What are your friends and colleagues’ opinion of you?

You may refer to the strengths section. Add a dimension that you are a people-person who is approachable and get along well with others. Remember no man is an island and most workplaces call for teamwork.

3)What is your most memorable achievement in the last 12 months?

Share one achievement that shows transferable skills relevant to the job you had applied. Provide necessary details such as the background of the incident, people involved and the final outcome which should be positive. To add credibility, you may share that your boss gave you a pat on the shoulder or you were given merit increment or were promoted in the following performance review exercise.

4)What was the most difficult situation you faced at work recently and how did you handle it?

As usual, you should give background information pertaining to place, timeline, and people involved before proceeding to give the full story. Always end the story on a positive note and even enhanced it by stating valuable lesson you had learned from it or your working relationship with your team was strengthened as a result of it.

5) What contribution have you made in your present/last employment?

You may refer to memorable achievement and difficult situation sections. What do you least like and most like about your current/last employment?

This is again a tricky question where you are supposed to share positive and negative information about your current/last employment. Be tactful and do not go overboard. You may share that you like the fast work pace, teamwork but dislike it when it is off-peak or when you move on to a new team due to the new project but you still maintain contact with past team members.

6)Why do you want to leave?

Cite positive reasons relating to moving forward in your career. This would give the interviewers the impression that you are a forward-looking person. As a usual support, your answer with a real example like you have explored moving within your current company but there isn’t suitable opportunity in the next 6 – 12 months and instead of waiting you decided to explore external opportunities.

7)Why did you leave without a job?

People leave their last job for various reasons such as retrenchment, unable to get along with the boss, too much work and passed over for promotion. Try to present a positive reason for leaving similar to those in question 12. If you were indeed retrenched, be upfront about it and deflated the notion that the retrenchment exercise was done accordingly to performance. And if you have been not working for a couple of months, do share what you have been doing in the being time, such as participating in volunteering work or fulfilling a long time dream of learning to play a musical instrument. Bear in mind that you should come across as proactive and keen to gain employment.